Fremantle Port dispute ends, delivering relief for supply chains

Months-long industrial action at Fremantle Port has come to an end, bringing relief for WA’s shipping and logistics sectors and supply chains.

DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia reached an in-principle four-year agreement on February 2, facilitated by the Fair Work Commission, marking an end to the dispute.

It is estimated the backlog of thousands of containers will take several weeks to clear.

CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey says businesses that that rely on the Fremantle Port will be relieved this dispute has been resolved.

“The Port of Fremantle plays a crucial role in our supply chain and it was estimated the dispute was costing the WA economy $10 million per week,” he says.

“It really highlights how important port freight is to our economy, particularly given WA’s relative isolation.

“We remain concerned by the ongoing political instability in the Middle East which is impacting global shipping freight through the Red Sea and Suez Canal, and continue to monitor the impact this is having on the flow of freight to WA businesses.”

DP World Oceania Executive Vice President Nicolaj Noes says the agreement is a testament to the company’s commitment to its workforce and to providing uninterrupted services to customers.

“We are now focused on moving forward, restoring the supply chain operations and working collaboratively with our employees to rebuild confidence among our customers and make a positive impact on the national economy,” he says.

The agreement replaces the previous contract that expired in September 2023. It includes key provisions aimed at ensuring fair compensation, enhanced safety measures, effective fatigue management, along with guarantees of job security and work-life balance for employees.

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